What people fail to realize when they compare a vegan to a vegetarian is the main difference is not about diet but more about the difference in philosophies. Vegetarians focus more on the diet aspects of the ethical issues involving animals while vegans focus on the diet, social, and environmental issues. For example, a person who wears leather, silk, etc. but eats no animal products whatsoever is a vegetarian rather than a vegan because they do not embrace the ethical side of the vegan lifestyle.
As the lines between vegetarianism and the traditional omnivore diet become more blurred, so called gurus are forgetting what true veganism really is and are spreading misinformation to the masses. This misinformation includes reducing veganism to just a fad diet or a diet that people go on for health benefits. As vegetarians begin to include omnivores such as pesce-vegetarians (those who eat fish), pollo-vegetarians (those who eat fowl), and flexitarians (those who are vegetarian when they want to be) to increase their numbers, they lose out on their true purpose which is to limit the harm done to animals. The vegan philosophy make no distinction between the different types of animals and eating one type of animal is just as bad as eating another.
I see in veganism that many are focusing on the number game and including others who do not fit the true description of what it really means to be vegan into the groupings to make our numbers seem larger. Large numbers can help spread the message about veganism and do more for animals but only if the numbers come from people who are truly engages in the lifestyle. If we include those vegetarians who only focus on the diet aspect of veganism for health reasons then veganism runs the risk of being reduced to a fad diet.
As vegans we need to solidify our philosophies and draw a clearer line between vegetarianism and veganism. The line is not created to exclude others but it is created to give others something to strive for other than maintaining a perfect diet. Diet is only one aspect of veganism and finding plant alternative to animal derived products is just as important as important as abstaining from eating animal flesh.